Malaysia national team has earned a great reputation of powerful badminton house; however, the team is still waiting for the next superstars. Let’s meet with the Malaysian rising talents through VICTOR special feature “Rise Up”.
“Badminton is all I got. There’s no any chance to lose.” Lee Zii Jia
Lee Zii Jia, a twenty-year-old boy who reaches a height of 187 centimeters. With good strength and big size, Zii Jia is regarded as the next Malaysian Men’s Singles hope. In 2017, he won the first title in his career at Polish International and reached semifinals at Grand Prix Golds thrice. His world ranking had increased from 240 to 42. Eventually, Zii Jia was nominated for BWF Most Promising Player of the year (Eddy Choong Award).
“It was an incredible year for me. I played well at the beginning, but I was not able to keep the performance. From top to down, then back to the top. The experience was priceless, which helped my mental ability be stronger,” said Zii Jia.
Dato Lee Chong Wei has been No.1 Malaysian Men’s singles shuttler for a long time. Zii Jia has been expected to be the one who is able to inherit it; however, the pressure has come together with the expectation. Zii Jia faced the pressure confidently and said “no matter how the fans comment on me, I always let it be a reminder. It reminds me that ‘I haven’t reached the top yet. I should work harder.’”
In order to compete with the top players, Zii Jia thought he needs to enrich his stamina, stability, and coordination. He aimed to be the top 20 in 2018.
“I wish to be an all-around and unique shuttler in the future,” said Lee Zii Jia. The youngster had a firm belief in his badminton career. As he said “Badminton is all I got. There’s no any chance to lose.”
“No matter ups and downs, I want to be the one who delivers the positive energy.” Goh Jin Wei
Goh Jin Wei, a genius shuttler was selected to be a member of Malaysia national team when she was only fourteen. Furthermore, she captured the Women’s Singles national title at the age of fifteen. In 2015, Jin Wei won the first champion in her career at Belgian international and t took the crown at World Junior Championships. It was the first Women’s Singles World Junior Champion for Malaysia; hence “Goh Jin Wei” became a household name in her hometown.
Due to Jin Wei’s great performance and outgoing personality, many Malaysian became a big fan of her. With great popularity and talent, she is expected to be one of the top players in the world.
Unexpectedly, Jin Wei performed ups and downs in 2016. She had missed some big events owing to the ankle injury; nonetheless, the girl stayed strong and returned even stronger. She earned a silver medal at Taipei Open after recovery.
Unfortunately, she broke her ankle once again which made the girl tear on the court. However, Jin Wei performed a great comeback. She lifted the Women’s Singles title at 2017 Southeast Asian Games. It was the first gold medal for Malaysia in the last 14 years. In 2018, Jin Wei kept good form and her world ranking climbed to the highest point, No.26.
“My performance was quite unstable last year. I really appreciated that I could perform well in the end. I hope I can do better this year,” said Jin Wei. To be a top shuttler, she needs more experience and enhancing the stamina and endurance.
In this competitive world, being positive is Jin Wei’s self-expectation. “No matter ups and downs, I want to be the one who delivers the positive energy. Be optimistic and energetic to fight until the last second.”
“I hope Leong Jun Hao will be a remarkable name one day.” Leong Jun Hao
In 2018, a rising star from Malaysia had reached finals at both Thailand Masters and Finnish Open. This young man was well-prepared. He eventually won the champion in Finland and finished as the runner-up in Bangkok. He is Leong Jun Hao.
Jun Hao was not only the third Malaysian Men’s Singles champion at Asia Junior Championships but also the silver medalist at World Junior Championships. “I thought my career as a junior shuttler was not bad,” said Jun Hao, a modest boy. In finals of World Junior Championships, he firstly led the game but failed to close it. “The loss makes me realize that even a second of distraction is not available during the game,” said Jun Hao.
As a professional shuttler, Jun Hao had a bright start in his career. He just captured a title at Finnish Open last week. Besides, he was the runner-up at 2017 Malaysia International Challenge and 2018 Thailand Masters respectively. “I will try my best to keep my form in every tournament. As I do so, the world ranking will rise,” said Jun Hao.
The dream of this shy boy is to be a gold medalist at Olympics. Although it’s still too early for him to be a powerful competitor at Olympics field, daring to dream has always been the very first step in making the dream come true. “I hope Leung Jun Hao will be a remarkable name one day,” said Jun Hao.
“I’ll always be myself, the one who never gives up.” Lee Ying Ying
Lee Ying Ying has earned the reputation for her hardworking and fighting spirit in spite of having the least attention between these young talents.
The badminton journey starts at the age of eight for Ying Ying. Ying Ying’s family has been the greatest support behind her back. “My parents are busy; however, they facilitate and support me with all their efforts. That’s why I can play badminton without any concern,” said Ying Ying.
In 2017, Ying Ying suffered an injury to the left foot. She was used to depressing by the injury, but she could think positive about her recovery this time. The smiley girl said, “It was a chance for me to overcome the weakness, and then start again with full energy.”
In 2018, Ying Ying defeated Japanese Aya Ohori to reach quarterfinals at Malaysia Masters. The battle between the Olympics gold medalist Carolina Marin in quarterfinals was intensive. Although she was beaten by Marin, Ying Ying proved that she is capable to compete with the top shuttlers. The match has been an impressive moment in her career.
Off the badminton court, Ying Ying is quite an introvert. “It’s not easy for me to communicate with others unless I am familiar with the person,” said Ying Ying. The personality also influences her performance, “I think I’m too gentle to play badminton. I need to learn how to play imposingly,” said Ying Ying.
To be a top shuttler, hard-working is necessary but perseverance and determination are the keys to be great. Ying Ying is filled with the strong consciousness. The young talent said “I’ll always be myself, the one who never gives up. And, I wish to be the top 30 this year.”